IPL 2020: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal’s heroics pulled down by last-minute shockers as KKR win thriller vs KXIP

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KL Rahul’s Kings XI Punjab, after having lost 4 games in a row, seemed to have finally bounced back in the game against KKR but last-minute hiccups turned shockers kept them from chasing down the target of 165. The valiant efforts of Mayank Agarwal (56 off 39) and KL Rahul (74 off 58 ) were negated as KKR won the game by 2 runs.

Dinesh Karthik’s Kolkata Knight Riders, who batted first, failed to weave a cracker of a 1st innings or a big total out of the game on Saturday. Despite the skipper’s quickfire knock of a 29-ball 58, KKR only managed to put up a total of 164/6. However, the tremendous show of death bowling leads to them snatching the game away from Punjab in the last-over thriller on a double-header day IPL 2020.

Kolkata Knight Riders batted first after winning the toss at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, in Abu Dhabi, with Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill opening the innings for Dinesh Karthik’s team. Tripathi, who scored a valiant 81 against CSK in the last game for KKR, didn’t seem to be in his prime touch today.

Mohammad Shami, in what was his 50th Indian Premier League scalp, uprooted the leg stump behind Tripathi and got him walking back to the pavilion in the 3rd over. In the very next over, KKR caused a blunder as a communication gap between Nitish Rana and Gill lead to the former losing his wicket to an unfortunate run out. Once again, Mohammed Shami got a breakthrough for Punjab.

The next 7 overs was a slow moving stand, masked under the tag of an anchoring partnership, between Eoin Morgan and Gill. In 43 deliveries, the duo managed to add only 39 runs before the World Cup winning captain was sent packing with Ravi Bishnoi bamboozling Morgan (24 off 23) with his humble googly. Kolkata were on 63/3 at that point, but then came in Dinesh Karthik and accelerated the innings forward with his 29-ball 58. Without Karthik’s push, Kolkata would’ve struggled to score 150 but even the 164/6 that they finally put on board didn’t seem enough.


Kings XI Punjab might have lost 5 games in a row IPL 2020 but the fact that their openers -KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal- are the best in business is also undeniable. The Batman and Robin pair (just to highlight the animated greatness of the two openers in the IPL) are capable of chasing any total down, if its their day, and the target of 165 seemed rather easy for the pair of an incredibly high calibre.


Agarwal continued with his usual form in the IPL and let KL Rahul anchor the chase while he did most of the hitting. By the time Agarwal was shown out, KXIP were in a strong position at 115/1 in just 14.2 overs. As KL Rahul continued the chase, Nicholas Pooran (16 off 10) gave him a cameo stand but perished rather quickly. Wickets kept tumbling down as Punjab neared the chase and the pressure was suddenly on Punjab again. Punjab lost Prabhsimrah Singh, KL Rahul and Mandeep Singh in quick succession leaving 7 required off the last ball. With 7 required off the last ball, and Sunil Narine delivering, Maxwell tried to make it all the way but fell short of the boundary and could only manage four runs.


KXIP still hold the last spot on the points table, with only one win in IPL 2020 so far, and this loss against KKR only highlights their weakness in clutch situations. With the kind big players that Punjab have, they still sport a strong on paper. If class means anything in cricket, KL Rahul’s Kings XI Punjab will bounce back again and strive hard to make it to the playoffs.

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